Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


EPA Awards Grant to Hope College to Reduce Releases of Toxic Flame-Retardant Chemicals in Great Lakes Basin

Release Date: 09/19/2012
Contact Information: Peter Cassell, 312-886-6234,

Chicago (Sept. 19, 2012) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a $100,000 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to Hope College in Holland, Michigan, for a project to reduce releases of flame retardants in the Great Lakes basin. This is one of three GLRI grants focused on pollution prevention that EPA is announcing during National Pollution Prevention Week.

"This EPA grant will be used to raise awareness about toxic flame retardants and to reduce the release of these chemicals in the Great Lakes basin," said EPA Regional Administrator / Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman.

Hope College will use the grant to host workshops to educate industry representatives on the environmental problems associated with the use of toxic flame-retardant chemicals and to promote the use of safer alternatives. The college will also develop a disposal strategy for products that contain toxic flame-retardant chemicals.

The two other GLRI grants being announced during Pollution Prevention Week are:

    $197,022 to the Product Stewardship Institute to prevent the release of mercury from discarded thermostats and auto switches in the Chicago area. The Institute will work with the operators of 380 auto dismantling facilities and 5,400 heating contractors and wholesalers in the Chicago area to promote proper mercury disposal and to provide incentives to participate in collection programs for mercury-containing products.
    $150,000 to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (based in Minnesota) to provide businesses that use toxic chemicals with “green chemistry” tools and information about safer alternatives. Workshops will be held for businesses throughout the Great Lakes region.

Over the last three years, GLRI has provided more than $11 million for pollution prevention projects to improve Great Lakes water quality by reducing or eliminating waste at the source, promoting the use of non-toxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and re-using materials.

The GLRI, initially proposed by President Obama in February 2009, is the largest investment in the Great Lakes in more than two decades. More information about the Initiative is available at

For more information on EPA’s Pollution Prevention Program, visit